Disneyland, March 1957, Pt. 1

Senin, 06 Juni 2011

I've got to say I was extremely overwhelmed by the response to my 5 year anniversary post; the comments continue to come in; some motivated by the giveaways, some by Steve Martin's tweet, and some just because. I am going to share some of the more memorable ones here before I dive into today's first part of a March 1957 series.

From Amy C. Spaulding:

Congratulations on your 5-year anniversary in the blogosphere! I just wanted to comment. (No need to enter me into the drawing -- I am trying to downsize!)

What strikes me about your blog post is that it supports what I am coming to suspect: That everything we do in life eventually helps us get to where we are going; we just may not know it then.

I understand Steve Martin's comedy a lot better now knowing that he started as a barker at an amusement park as a kid. Is there any better training for being a comedian? My folks had the good fortune of seeing Steve Martin perform at the Westchester Theatre when Steve was first starting out. They came home late that night and told us that some young guy with white hair was wearing an arrow through his head and was getting booed on the stage. My dad said he was funny; my mom said she felt sorry for the guy. I love remembering this story because it shows me that genius is often ahead of its time -- that courage and persistence are an equal part of a person's success.

You just never know, do you? Everyone has a little bit of the Magic and we are all part of the Mystery! And if this comment seems a little preachy, "Well, Excuse Meeeee!" Happy 5th Anniversary!

Amy - so true. One never knows the path life has planned for us. Heck, I never figured I'd be doing this for 5 years!

From Christopher:

I read Born Standing Up a year ago and your post has inspired me reread it. The stories about Steve's early years at Disney Land and Knott's Berry Farm were meaningful to me because it all took place while my parents, newlyweds at the time and soon to be expecting the birth of my older brother, were regulars at Knott's during the time Steve worked at the Birdcage theater there. Your post is especially timely given the passing of Wally Boag and to you, good sir, I tip my hat. Nice job!

These are the stories I love; memories from readers that are inspired by the photos posted...memories that when told sound as fresh now as when they happened. Here's to more of those! And if you haven't read Steve Martin's book "Born Standing Up," do so! It is well worth it to hear not only about Disneyland and Knott's in the early years, but to learn of his journey of how he became the talented comedian that he is today.

Another great personal memory from Thom:

Thank you to Steve Martin for directing me to this great site. My dad loved anything Disney. He visited Disneyland the first and second year it was open and was among his favorite memories. When he passed away I found a box of his souvenirs from those trips. My favorite things was a novelty paper and two guidebook. It gave me a feel for what its was like compared to when I visited it several times in the 90's when I lived in Long Beach. I wonder if Steve Martin sold them to my dad?

From Matterhorn1959, the creator of Stuff From The Park:

Dave- congratulations on 5 Years and a fantastic story on the anniversary!! You know I appreciate your blog and the images you present, including the fantastic shots from you personally. I wish I had your photographic skills!! I hope you can keep it up another 5 years or more!!! Thanks again for sharing your finds, your pictures and your adventures.

That one was especially meaningful to me, as it was Patrick's blog that I first found when I was searching for vintage images of Disneyland on the web. I remember spending hours going through each post and being amazed by his collection of photos. In addition, he is one of the most knowledgeable people on Disneyland history. AND a nice guy to boot, too!

The contest ends today at noon (PST). I will be gathering all of the commenters who were interest in entering and picking a winner. Again...thanks to ALL for making my 5 Year Anniversary such a great day!

Back to regular bizness! Ellen’s Gift Shop is probably unfamiliar to most as it had a fairly short run on Main Street (1955-1957). Let's zoom in to see what's in the window.

This was the closest I could find in my collection (mental note for next visit!) of the same area of shops on Main Street. Ellen's Gift Shop is now part of Disney Clothiers.

Your basic March 1957 castle shot...

which reveals a bit of repair or construction going on:

This 2009 shot shows the castle still looking pretty majestic some 50+ years later. I know I'm being redundant, but here's another request to restore the color back to its original pale pink color from its current pepto-bismol garish shade.

Moving around to the side of the castle, our 1957 photographer captured the Skyway buckets in the background.

There appears to be some construction going on here behind the castle. I am guessing that it might have to do with the imminent opening of the Sleeping Beauty dioramas that were set to open approximately one month from when this photo was shot. You can also see Merlin's Magic Shop in the left.

Interestingly enough, the closest present day shot I could find from my personal collection shows the construction of the restoration of the SB Diorama.

The Rumor Mill: Apparently, the Mission Tortilla Factory at DCA has closed.

Rumor has it that it will be replaced by this:

That's a change I definitely could live with! More March 1957 goodness to come! Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter. See more vintage & current Golden Horseshoe photos at my regular website.

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